April 08, 2014


To listen to this show click above!

Nasir Dickerson, BA, MA the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Dickerson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Camden, New Jersey.  He is a 2002 graduate and 4th of his class in Camden High School.  He has achieved high academic accomplishments, especially, in math, science and music education.  He was a member of the National Honor Society, with perfect attendance, and has been the president of his class since his freshman year.  Nasir has also earned many academic scholarships and awards, such as the Alexander Oaks Award, which was given to the number one senior student who has won the respect and approval of the administration, faculty, staff and student body, for academic scholarship, character, personality and athletic interest. Nasir was accepted into the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Music Performance in May of 2006.  May of 2007 Nasir earned and received his Master Degree in MUSIC EDUCATION at the UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS, with high academic honors.

Presently, Nasir is employed at the Camden Public Schools (Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy) in Camden, New Jersey as a Music Teacher.  He earned the award of the Best Teacher of the Year in 2010.  In 2002 he formed his own jazz group called Nasir Dickerson and the Renaissance Messengers.  Today Nasir produced two wonderful CD’s (albums) called the Journey to the Fatherland and The Revealer.  Nasir performed and/or actively performs for many legendary greats such as the Philadelphia Legends of Jazz Orchestra (Leon Mitchell), Stylistics, Intruders and Urban Guerilla Orchestra.  He also open for legendary jazz greats, such as Dr. Donald Byrd, Robert “Bootsie” Barnes, Wallace Roney, Jimmy Heath, Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Duane Eubanks, Jymie Merritt, Mickey Roker, Stanley Wilson and Sid Simmons.  Also, today Nasir performs for wedding bands called the CTO World Entertainment Group (Park Avenue), Bounce - The New Evolution, and The Tony Grandberry Project in the Philadelphia area.

Nasir has been playing and studying musical instruments, such as the tuba, tenor, baritone, alto and soprano saxophones since the second grade.  He was inspired and taught by many great professors and teachers, such as Mr. Leon Mitchell, Mr. Charles Bowen Sr., Mr. Charles Elliott, Mr. Ronald Kerber, Mr. Tony Salicondro, Mr. Chris Farr, Mr. Danny Muller, Mr. Ben Schachter, Mr. Dennis Wasko, Mr. Tony Miceli, Mr. John Swanna, Ms. Trudy Pitts, Lovett Hines and his older brother Mr. Jamal Dickerson.  Nasir was also part of a musical team winning an Emmy Award on Saturday, September 24, 2011.

Nasir is also a World Champion 5th Degree Master Black Belt in Karate and a member of a Discipline Military Style Drill Team called the World Champion UPK Pasha Generals.  Nasir is also a long standing and key member of the Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble, which is famous for its electrifying drummers, sensational dancers, exciting masquerade and acrobatic show performing all over America also in Africa and the Caribbean.

Contact:         (856) 236-6217
Order CD’s
Facebook and You Tube
/ Nasir Dickerson and Nasir Dickerson and the Renaissance Messengers


March 28, 2014


Please join me for a very informative conversation with poetess, writer, vocalist, author, activist and my friend;

 Rebecca "Butterfly" Vaughns
To listen to the conversation CLICK HERE

Butterfly will be performing as part of 
Spotlight On Jazz and Poetry's

May 30 - 31, 2014 right here in 
Philadelphia, Pa.

For more information and for tickets 
click above!

March 24, 2014


Rebecca "Butterfly" Vaughns
To listen to the show click title above

Rebecca "Butterfly" Vaughns was born in Miami, FL. Her love for music started at age 5 and she has been married to poetry since the age of ten. There are no words that can explain the passion and love Rebecca has for poetry. She holds Langston Hughes accountable for turning her into a fiend. Rebecca leaves audiences amazed at her ability to freestyle poetry leaving one to think its been inked for awhile. 

She impressed Bruce George ~ Co-Founder of Def Poetry Jam in 2002 at the 2nd Annual Spoken Word Expo held in St. Louis, MS when she came hard from the dome in the midst of a cipher out in the parking lot after an open mic session. Rebecca has tapped many of mics on various stages from elementary schools to high schools to colleges to jails to festivals and is in high demand for weddings, funerals, baby christenings, retirement parties, church galas and everything else in between. 

She's an International Spoken Word Artist with people appreciating her work in Canada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize, Africa, and Argentina just to name a few. She's appeared on internet and mainstream radio as well as underground radio. She's done live broadcasting performances on Haitian and Spanish television locally and has appeared on various radio stations and television in other cities throughout the USA . Her work is supported and loved by the likes of Shang~comedian/ poet, Betty Wright ~ singer/songwriter, Floetry, MC Lyte, Joss Stone, and Robert Townsend just to name a few. Rebecca has truly made a name for herself in the arena of spoken word and poetry since taking the stage May, 1997. Rebecca holds several accolades for her craft to include 2003 Spoken Word Artist of The Year, two slam wins, and her work is featured on compilations in New york, Chicago, and Miami just to name a few as well as appearances in anthologies to include Drumvoices Revue ~ spring,summer, fall 2004 issue with a tribute to Katherine Dunham.

A member of the poetry circuit for 16 years, she's seen the scene change quite a bit. "There was more passion and love, now it's become more of a competition and I guess namely a situation of product," Vaughns said of the new age of poets who turn out CDs faster than they've had time to learn the scene of the beat in their own community. "The hard work and the grinding, we've branded ourselves, but we have these new age kids on open mic, they come and learn the ropes, then get one big gig and it goes to their head...they look at it and see the money side of it, and it's deeper than that," she said.

"I'm out of the box, I perform at funerals, weddings, graduation parties, divorce parties; wherever words are desired, I'm there," Vaughns said. She's even been plucked from the crowd at high profile functions to step in and save the day with her impromptu, freestyle poetry when programming experienced setbacks.

"You have raw talent right here in your backyard...introduce untapped, unheard artists that are right here in the community, and trust me, they're here," she said.

Each month, "Expressions" will feature one male and one female artist who will perform a 20-minute set. A mini open mic will follow with a maximum of five artists, whether singers or poets, who have the opportunity to perform two pieces each. Each month will fluctuate between poets and singers, especially in genres of R&B, jazz, blues, and neo soul.

"The vision is to bring that culture and entertainment vibe back to Overtown like in the era of my mom and the '30s, '40s, and '50s, when the Hampton House was the place to go for good blues, good jazz, and all that kind of stuff," Vaughns said

Rebecca will be performing in Philadelphia, Pa. on May 30 - 31, 2014 as part of Spotlight On Jazz and Poetry's Spring event "JAZZTRONOMIC FEAST" For tickets CLICK HERE

Rebecca "Butterfly" Vaughns has a brand new CD out entitled "POETICALLY SPEAKING"
To visit Butterfly's page on CD Baby CLICK HERE

February 23, 2014


Sallie Jayne Richardson, always called Jayne, was born on the Army base at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., on May 10, 1934. (The year of her birth is often misreported as 1936.) Her father was a career soldier who would serve in both world wars; her mother was a secretary.
Reared in Los Angeles, young Jayne Richardson reveled in the jazz and Latin recordings that her parents collected. She studied art, music and drama in high school and later attended Compton Community College. She took the surname Cortez, the maiden name of her maternal grandmother, early in her artistic career.
In the summers of 1963 and 1964, Ms. Cortez worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, registering black voters in Mississippi. It was this work as much as anything, she later said, that caused her to regard art and political action as an indivisible whole.
She gave her first public poetry readings with the Watts Repertory Theater Company, a Los Angeles ensemble she founded in 1964. Ms. Cortez, who had homes in Manhattan and Dakar, Senegal, was also a founder of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, established in 1991.
Ms. Cortez’s marriage to Mr. Coleman ended in divorce in 1964, after 10 years. Besides her son, she is survived by her second husband, Melvin Edwards, a prominent sculptor whom she married in 1975; a sister, Shawn Smith; three stepdaughters, Ana, Margit and Allma Edwards; and a grandson.
Her volumes of poetry, many illustrated by Mr. Edwards, include “Festivals and Funerals” (1971), “Coagulations” (1984) and “Jazz Fan Looks Back” (2002); her albums include “Everywhere Drums” (1990) and “Taking the Blues Back Home” (1996).
Ms. Cortez, who taught at universities throughout the United States, including Rutgers, was among the artists featured — others include Amiri Baraka, Charles Bukowski, John Cage and Allen Ginsberg — in Ron Mann’s esteemed 1982 documentary film, “Poetry in Motion.”
Despite her work’s eclecticism, Ms. Cortez was comfortable invoking a single genre to describe it, precisely because that genre was itself so encompassing.
“Jazz isn't just one type of music, it’s an umbrella that covers the history of black people from African drumming to field hollers and the blues,” she told The Weekly Journal, a black newspaper in Britain, in 1997. “In the sense that I also try to reflect the fullness of the black experience, I’m very much a jazz poet.”

Jayne Cortez, a poet and performance artist whose work was known for its visceral power, its political outrage and above all its sheer, propulsive musicality, died on December 28, 2012 in Manhattan, NYC. She was 78.

Her death, at Beth Israel Medical Center, was from heart failure, her son, the jazz drummer Denardo Coleman, said.
One of the central figures of the Black Arts Movement — the cultural branch of the black power movement that flourished in the 1960s and ’70s — Ms. Cortez remained active for decades afterward, publishing a dozen volumes of poetry and releasing almost as many recordings, on which her verse was seamlessly combined with avant-garde music.
She performed on prominent stages around the world, including, in New York, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Museum of Modern Art and Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Cortez’s work was beyond category by virtue of embodying so many categories simultaneously: written verse, African and African-American oral tradition, the discourse of political protest, and jazz and blues. Meant for the ear even more than for the eye, her words combine a hurtling immediacy with an incantatory orality.
Starting in the 1960s, Ms. Cortez began performing her work to musical accompaniment. For the past three decades she toured and recorded with her own band, the Firespitters, whose members include her son, from her first marriage, to the saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman.
As performed, Ms. Cortez’s poems were not so much set to music as they were a part of the music. They were chanted more than recited, employing carefully calibrated repetitions, shifts in tempo and modulations of vocal tone.
It was as if her verse, which often took on large, painful subjects like racism and misogyny, had become an instrument itself — an instrument, Ms. Cortez felt strongly, to be wielded in the service of social change.
In one of her best-known works, “If the Drum Is a Woman,” for instance, she indicts violence against women. (The title invokes Duke Ellington’s 1956 composition “A Drum Is a Woman”):
why are you pounding your drum into an insane babble
why are you pistol-whipping your drum at dawn
why are you shooting through the head of your drum
and making a drum tragedy of drums
if the drum is a woman
don’t abuse your drum don’t abuse your drum
don’t abuse your drum
To visit the website of the late Jayne Cortez CLICK HERE.